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IRCTC Shares Surge On Signing MoU With KSTDC To Restart Golden Chariot

Olga Robert

Shares of IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) rose as much as 1.6 percent in trade on Wednesday to an intraday high of Rs 917 apiece on NSE. The surge comes a day after it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) to market and operate the Golden Chariot Train.

Services of the luxury train, which started as a joint venture between KSTDC and the Indian Railways, was suspended in 2018 due to heavy losses on low occupancy.

The IRCTC will be refurbishing the train and restart operation in March 2020. It is also planning to revamp the itinerary of Golden Chariot to include Bandipur, Mysore, Halebid, Chikmagalur, Hampi, Bijapur and Goa.

Suresh Angadi, Minister of State for Railways, said the train will boost tourism in Karnataka and other southern states. He also urged the IRCTC and KSTDC to keep the fares of the luxury train competitive so that everyone can afford to travel in it.

IRCTC is expected to announce the new schedule and tariffs in a week's time.

The Golden Chariot was started in 2008 and is an 18-coach train with 44 guest rooms. It has a capacity of 84 passengers at a time and earlier covered destinations across Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, and other southern parts of the country at the price of $600 (around Rs 43,000) per day.

The new agreement between IRCTC and KSTDC is for a period of 10 years on a revenue sharing basis.

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